Ozzie Guillen headed to Florida Marlins: Report

Ozzie Guillen: ESPNChicago.com had reported that Guillen was traded to the Marlins for two minor-league players. The Marlins declined comment but did not deny the reports.

By , McClatchy Newspapers

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    This Aug. 9, photo shows Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen watching during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, in Baltimore. Guillen's website said he's joining the Florida Marlins, but the post was soon taken down.
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According to published reports out of Chicago, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen is out the door and headed to South Florida to manage the Marlins when they open their new ballpark in April.

The White Sox confirmed late Monday that the team and Guillen have parted ways.

"The White Sox have agreed to Ozzie Guillen's request to be released from his contract, allowing the manager to pursue other opportunities," the White Sox said in a statement.

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"I personally appreciate everything Ozzie has done for this organization, our fans and the city of Chicago," White Sox team chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said. "We shared the greatest moments together and wish him nothing but future success in baseball and in life."

ESPNChicago.com had reported that Guillen was traded to the Marlins for two minor-league players. The Marlins declined comment but did not deny the reports.

Guillen, who was the Marlins' third-base coach during their run to the 2003 World Series and has long been a target of owner Jeffrey Loria, reportedly met with Reinsdorf on Monday and didn't leave happy. Guillen said last month he wouldn't return for the final year of his contract next season unless he received an extension beyond 2012.

Now, it appears the 47-year-old outspoken Venezuelan will be the Marlins next manager — and fourth since 2010. The news comes on the same day Marlins interim manager Jack McKeon announced his retirement.

During the seventh inning of Monday's game against the Nationals, several Marlins fans in the crowd at Sun Life Stadium began chanting "Ozzie! Ozzie!"

"We talked about different things, my future here, how we're going to do it and what we think about the ballclub, what we want, and I left the meeting with nothing," Guillen told Chicago reporters before the game. "We have to wait.

"I showed him how I feel, the way I always do. He talked to me about how he feels about me, myself, my family, the team and the organization. But I left there — I'm not going to say empty-handed — because I left there with my ideas. I left there with what I want (to say), what I should do, and that's it."

Reinsdorf said in March the Marlins contacted the White Sox about trading for the manager, but the team's couldn't agree on compensation. If the reports are accurate, the Marlins will still likely end up having to send the White Sox a player or cash to acquire Guillen, who remains signed through 2012.

"You never hear me talk about (the Marlins)," Guillen said Monday. "I never say the word 'Marlins' out of my mouth, no. That's their problem.

"... It's not easy, like, 'OK, I want to get you, come here and do it.' No, that's a process. If the Marlins are interested in me, good for them. I'm open to anything."

Guillen was believed to be in line to make around $2?million next season with the White Sox. The team was expected to contend for the AL Central title this year, but has struggled to the third sub-.500 finish duringGuillen's eight-year tenure.

Guillen led the White Sox to the World Series in 2005 and has a record of 677-617. In 2003, he served as McKeon's third-base coach on a Marlins team that rallied to win the NL Wild Card and then the World Series in six games against the Yankees.

McKeon, who figures to remain as a consultant for the Marlins, said Monday he would have no say in who replaced him. McKeon took over a Marlins team that had lost 10 consecutive games under Edwin Rodriguez and fell from second place into the NL East basement at 32-40 before Rodriguez abruptly resigned.

The Marlins eventually got back to .500 on Aug. 2 in New York but lost second baseman Omar Infante and shortstop Hanley Ramirez to injuries "and the season went downhill from there," McKeon said.

The Marlins clinched last place in the division when they were swept by the Brewers over the weekend.

Monday, Loria met with current third base coach Jose Espada for an interview. Former third-base coach Bo Porter, now with the Nationals, reportedly also was supposed to be interviewed.

McKeon became the second-oldest manager in baseball history when he took over for Edwin Rodriguez, who abruptly resigned on June 19. Only Mack was older at 87 when he skippered the team he owned — the Philadelphia Athletics — in his last season of 1950.

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